The beginning of the season was not the most successful for Kairat. The club from Almaty lost vital points early on and then we were always catching up. Never mind the difference in points, Kairat is still fighting for the top place.
FC Kairat: Stas Pokatilov (GK), Stanislav Lunin, Cesar Arzo, Zarko Markovic, Gafurzhan Suyumbaev, Islambek Kuat, Anatoliy Timoshchuk, Isael Barbosa, Bauyrzhan Islamkhan (C), Andrey Arshavin, Gerard Gohou.
FC Astana: Nenad Eric (GK), Marin Anicic, Roger Canas, Junior Kabananga, Abzal Beisebekov, Dmitri Shomko, Serikzhan Muzhikov, Azat Nurgaliev, Yuriy Logvinenko, Askhat Tagybergen, Serhiy Malyi.
The game on sunday could have been a more positive one. If Astana was to win the game they would have guaranteed first place in the Premier League. A draw would also be considered a solid result.
Star of the game was a bit nervous. Kairat was trying to create chances in the final third but it did not really bring any benefits until 30th minute. Islamkhan carried the ball into the box and passed it to Isael - brazillian had a shot, but the ball went on to the corner. That was the stone-breaking corner. Arzo was first to the lose ball in the box and put it into the net – 1:0.
Few minutes after Kairat has increased the lead. Kuat found himself unmarked in the penalty box, received the ball and finished with the left foot – 2:0.
In the first half Kairat could have scored few more goals. Gohou was one-on-one with Eric, but could not find the target.
Second half started less positive for the home team. Great play from Kairat's keeper did not allow Astana to get back into the game. At first, he managed to save multiple shots from the away team strikers, and on 58th minute the referee has awarded a penalty to Astana. Despotovic, ex-Kairat striker, decided to take it. His shot was well saved from the bottom left corner by Pokatilov. Astana players were first to react to rebound but defenders managed to clear the danger.
Kairat was less active towards the end of the match, but overall players controlled the game and did create more chances than the opposition. Just before the end Gohou was once again one-on-one against Eric, but the striker could not get it on target. With few minutes before the whistle the penalty was awarded to Kairat, however Gohou could not beat the goalkeeper again.
The club from Almaty got a well deserved and comfortable win over a rival as they continue to chase Astana. Next week Kairat is travelling to Pavlodar where they face Irtysh, and Astana will host Aktobe at home.